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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Spotlight Saturday: Guest Post and Giveaway with Marian Allen

Hi, everyone!

Welcome to another edition of Spotlight Saturday at Darlene's Book Nook, where we feature authors and their books!

We will be joined today by Marian Allen.

About Marian:

Marian Allen was born in Louisville, Kentucky and now lives in rural Indiana. For as long as she can remember, she has loved telling and being told stories. She writes science fiction, fantasy, mystery, humor, horror, mainstream, and anything else she can wrestle into fixed form.

Allen has had stories in on-line and print publications, on coffee cans and the wall of an Indian restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky. She has a science fiction/cop/comedy, FORCE OF HABIT, available through Echelon Press in various electronic formats.

She is a member of Quills & Quibbles and the Southern Indiana Writers Group.

Allen has worked as a high school teacher, an executive secretary, an accountant, and in Red Cross Youth Services. She is married, with three step/adopted daughters and one birth daughter. She is active in the Friends of Harrison County Library, Woman's Literary Club of Corydon and Community Unity, which promotes diversity appreciation and non-violent problem solving.

She posts at the group blog Fatal Foodies on Tuesdays and monthly on The Write TypeThat Book Place and Echelon Explorations.


Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Marian!

Marian has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to her!

Where Inspiration Comes From
By Marian Allen

My web site is subtitled: Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes. I have all that and more in these 12 stories, if you count the "who eats who" in "Out of the Cradle" and the Scotch in "For A Few Bottles More". "Dog Show" is a romance, which surprised me as much as it did anybody.

Inspirations for stories fall out of the sky like snowflakes in winter or rain in springtime or leaves in autumn or ... or ... something summery in summer. When the story falls on your head, you scrape it off and ....

Let me start again. The world is full of things to write about, and ways to write about those things. It's part of a writer's job to take ideas and find the best way to turn those ideas into stories.

"The Day the Dog Ate Popcorn" is a true story of the first chickens we got when we moved to the country. And people say the city is violent.

I wrote "Out of the Cradle" as one of my mermayds of the Eel pieces. I have another short story and a novel featuring them, with another story underway.

I'm a stepmother, so it's natural that I would write a story about a stepmother: "Dog Show". At the time I wrote it, one of our daughters was living in a neighborhood like the one in the story, which is where the setting came from.

"For A Few Bottles More" was a challenge posed by writer and blogger Chuck Wendig, on the occasion of the finding of explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton's Scotch in Antarctica. Naturally, my story is about penguins. I mean ... you know ... naturally!

I used to get a lot of hits on my blog from people looking for "Personal Essay -- My Mother", which delighted me until I started looking at the timing and origins of the searches. When I realized the hits were coming from English students assigned the topic in class, I changed the name of the page to "Not Your Homework" and the hits vanished. The inspiration for this story, which begins, "My mother has snakes for hair," was my reflection in the mirror in the morning.

So there you have it: Where the ideas for stories come from. Everywhere. All the time. Isn't it fun?

Thanks so much for joining us today, Marian!

Ten lucky winners will win a digital copy of Marian's latest short story collection, Turtle Feathers.

The dog Joseph's stepmother gave him leads him away from his intended route. Disobedience puts a young mermaid's life into the relentless claws of a crab. A penguin thinks his fortune is made when he discovers a cache of Scotch. More off-beat animal stories from the author of Lonnie, Me and the Hound of Hell.

Buy Link: Amazon Kindle

To enter the giveaway, you must complete the Rafflecopter entry form below.

This giveaway is open worldwide. The contest will close at 12:01 AM EST on August 4, 2012.


  1. Thanks so much for having me here, Darlene! I loved talking about why my stories came from. :)

    Marian Allen
    Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

  2. Sometimes the ideas need to take a number! Great share, Marian. Lovely blog, Darlene.


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